Syllabus for EH 202, Dr. Gates, Spring 2010
Dr. Joanne E. Gates:

      EH 202: American Literature II

    Jacksonville State University
         English Department
Syllabus for EH 202, Dr. Gates, Spring 2010

EH 202  Section 002 [Call # 22342] Meets in SC 334, TTh,  9:15 to 10:45 a.m.

To reach Dr. Gates: 206 Stone Center, 782-5548. Office Hours 10:45-1:45,  TTh, and on MWF, tba.

COURSE DESCRIPTION [JSU Catalog]: "202. American Literature II. Traditions in American Literature from the late nineteenth century to the present. Readings include Henry James, Mark Twain, and selections from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.  3 credits."

PREREQUISITES: Successful completion of EH 102. 

Disability Accommodations Statement: Any individual who qualifies for reasonable accommodation under The Americans With Disabilities Act or Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 should contact the instructor immediately.
Civility Statement:  All students are expected to attend class fully prepared with appropriate materials and all devices which make noise turned to the off position (e.g., cellular phones, pagers, personal stereos, etc.).  Any student behavior deemed disruptive by the professor will result in expulsion of the student from the classroom, with an absence for the day and possible disciplinary action.
The Professor Expects that you follow standard protocols of classroom behavior, abide by the JSU Student Handbook, and conform to particular requirements of assignments and class discussion as announced.

About electronic cheating: All forms of personal electronic communication devices must be out of sight and in the power off mode for class and testing periods. During a testing period in class, any use of a personal electronic communication device, without the prior consent of the instructor, constitutes prima facie evidence of academic dishonesty with no right of grade appeal. If the instructor observes the device, the presumption is that cheating has occurred and a grade of F (zero) will be assigned to that exam, quiz, etc.


To understand the various factors contributing to the development of traditions in American Literature since the Civil War.

To understand and evaluate how an established canon in literature is formed, reformed, challenged, and expanded; specifically, to read the long established canonized writers against those writers recently rediscovered and newly reconsidered, with particular emphasis on women and minority writers.

To develop critical skills in responding to literature, to be able to write critically and personally about the literature (and the different genres of literature) in ways that demonstrate understanding and appreciation for the variety of interpretations that literature invites. 

To appreciate the ways in which an understanding of American literature is relevant to cultural values; where appropriate to study the relation of a literary or dramatic text to the film adaptation of that text.

To develop critical skills in responding to literature, to be able to write critically and personally about the literature (and the different genres of literature) in ways that demonstrate understanding and appreciation for the variety of interpretations that literature invites.

To exercise students' techniques of critical thinking, questioning, and problem solving.

For Education Majors, SDE objectives which apply to this course are as follows:   7.a.2; 7.a.7; 7.a.10; 7.a.11; 8.a.1.ii; 8.a.1.vii; 8.a.1.viii; 8.a.1.ix; 8.a.1.xi.  (All rules with 7 as the opening number refer to English, Class B (grades 7-12).   All rules with 8 as the opening number refer to Language Arts (Class B, grades 7-12). Students who are not Education majors can ignore the numbers.  Even though the stated objectives overlap with those stated above, the specific SDE objectives consist of:

To familiarize students with regional and ethnic dialects as expressions of cultural diversity (7.a.2; 8.a.1.ii)

To present examples of late 19th century and contemporary American literature, including works by female and minority writers (7.a.7; 8.a.1.vii)

To suggest several theories and methods of literary analysis (7.a.8; 8.a.1.viii)

To present several literary types (novel, drama, short story, poetry) (7.a.11; 8.a.1.xi)

To exercise students techniques of critical thinking, questioning, and problem solving(7.a.10; 8.a.1.x)

To participate in speaking, listening, reading, and writing activities within small groups (7.a.9)

ATTENDANCE POLICY. Cutting class is strongly discouraged. Because discussions, writing exercises, quizzes, and in-class assignments are graded or prepare you for graded work, cuts will likely affect your grade. The departmental attendance policy for this course mandates that you attend at least 75% of classes to receive a passing grade. Unlike composition courses, there is no difference between excused and unexcused absences; but if you miss two or more classes in a row, I consider it courteous and part of your responsibility as a student to speak to me about what you have missed and whether there is a need to make up work. There is no "Withdraw Passing" from the course allowed after you have exceeded your limit of 7 cuts (For classes meeting twice a week, 8 cuts = automatic F). Even though tardiness and leaving early are not officially counted as a partial absence, understand that it is extremely discourteous and rude. When you have unavoidable reasons for arriving late, leaving early, or otherwise attending the class sporadically, please inform the instructor ahead of time. Whenever in doubt, make sure to verify your record of attendance. Tests and major assignments can be made up only at the discretion of the instructor (have a legitimate excuse for failure to attend on days when a major assignment is scheduled). I always drop the lowest quiz grade, and may offer an occasion at the last class to do a makeup quiz (a different assignment) to improve your quiz average. Otherwise, quizzes and class work for quiz grades cannot be made up. Exceptions made only in unusual circumstances.

REQUIREMENTS. To receive a passing grade of 60, you must complete all units of the course (tests 1 and 2, the final exam, and your class report grade--likely a triple-weighted quiz) with an average of sixty or above.

Baym, Nina, ed. The Norton Anthology of American Literature. 7th ed. Package 2 (Volumes C, D, and E)  [ISBN13: 978-0-393-92994-2.]

Occasional critical reading or source material, placed on reserve (or handouts and Internet access). Depending on the focus for the critical paper, there may be additional texts or critical works you are expected to consult.


Quiz and class grade, the average of graded class work, including short written responses (some prepared reports, some on-the-spot). The short factual quizzes that test reading and basic knowledge cannot be made up nor taken at alternate times, even with legitimate and school-related excuses. You will be allowed to drop one of these short answer type quiz grades (either the lowest or one you missed). In addition to these weekly quizzes, there will likely be quiz grades assigned to short essays and reports, including reports on films viewed.  More details will be forthcoming.  If you have scored poorly in two quizzes at Midterm time, you should speak to me. Quizzes cannot be made up, but with an approved excuse, some alternatives can be arranged.  The average of all but lowest quiz =  25% of Course Grade.  

Test 1 on Volume C                  25% of Course Grade.  (February 11)
Test 2 on Volume D                  25% of Course Grade.  (March 12)

FINAL Exam (see below for schedule), 25% In both Tests on specific Volumes and on the Final, ample options in selections for essays and formal graded work allow students to focus and plan personal approaches to questions. Short answers test basic knowledge.  Expect the short answer section of the Final Exam to be comprehensive, including knowledge of readings and authors from Volumes C, D, as well as E.

Notice: Please be aware  that the Department of English has access to powerful software that scans and detects unauthorized documents that are submitted to your instructor.  Use of such documents constitutes an admission of academic dishonesty.

Keep these dates that are on the Academic Calendar in mind:
January 12: Last day to register or add a course
January 19: Last day to withdraw/drop and receive 80% refund on tuition
February 2: Last day to withdraw/drop and receive 50% refund on tuition
March 3: Date by which professor files Midterm Grades
March  12: Last day to drop/ withdraw (no signature required)
April 9: Last day to withdraw passing or drop without academic penalty
      (You must have a signed-by-the-professor drop slip: you can find me in Stone Center JSU campus on this day)

SYLLABUS. Unless otherwise announced, it is best to have the entire work read on the day it is first due on the syllabus.  I will have sometimes very brief remarks on the next reading as part of my leadup to where it is placed on the syllabus. Please note that there will be specific assignments connected to the reading as quizzes. Use the index to locate authors. I will announce pages and specific titles (and will likely post to Blackboard).  You are expected to know what is announced, even if you miss class.

Week 1  Thursday, January 7. Intro to course.  Assign  Henry James Daisy Miller; go over syllabus.  Begin a writing assessment. 

Week 2  Tuesday, January 12.   Daisy Miller. Conclude the writing assessment. Brief introduction to the poetry of Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman. 

Week 3 Tuesday, January 19. Mark Twain's  The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn |  Issues in the progress towards a less segregated society: Readings in Booker T. Washington, W.E.B. Dubois, Ida B. Wells-Barnett, Charles W. Chestnutt, Paul Laurence Dunbar. Explain On-Lines Resources (Blackboard course shell, resoures I link to including C-Span Video Archive of American Writers. 

Week 4  Tuesday, January 26. Kate Chopin's  The Awakening |  Short fiction by women: "The Yellow Wallpaper" by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, "The Revolt of Mother" by Mary E. Wilkins Freeman, "A White Heron" by Sarah Orne Jewett. 

Week 5 Tuesday, February 2. Stephen Crane: Maggie, A Girl of the StreetsHenry James' The Beast in the Jungle  | Considerations of Realism, Naturalism, Regionalism (with readings TBA) 

Week 6  Tuesday, February 9.  Catch up and review of readings in Volume C. | Test, Volume C on February 11. 

  Begin Volume D.
Week 7 Tuesday, February 16. Eugene O'Neill's  Long Day's Journey Into Night |  Major Poets: Robert Frost, Wallace Stevens,  William Carlos Williams, e. e. cummings, Marianne Moore, Langston Hughes

Week 8 Tuesday, February 23 William Faulkner's  As I Lay Dying

Week 9  Tuesday, March 2  Major Short Fiction Gertrude Stein, Zora Neale Hurston, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Richard Wright, John Steinbeck.
 [Midterm grades filed March 3th]

Week 10  Tuesday, March 9. Reveiw, catch up, and  Test, Volume D, on March 11. 

Spring Break: No Classes the week of March 15-19

Begin Volume E.
Week 11 Tuesday, March 23 Tennessee Williams's A Streetcar Named Desire  |  Selected Poets and Poems, Elizabeth Bishop, Sylvia Plath, Billy Collins, Sherman Alexie, and /or others  TBA

Week 12  Tuesday,  March 30 Arthur Miller's The Death of a Salesman  |  Fiction: Selections from Cheever, Welty, Walker, Barthelme, and / or others TBA. 

Week 13  Tuesday, April 6.  Fiction and Poets Continued: A Sample Report.

Week 14. Tuesday, April 13.  Reports to the class: Poet or Film adaptation of play or novel. All written reports for presentations to class are due on the 13th at classtime.

Tuesday April 20 no class meeting. Office hours may be announced for grades and return of papers. 

Final Exam is 8:00 to 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday April 20th, in the classroom. Access the document from web, Exam schedule, near end of term.

GENERAL GUIDELINES: I participate in a Teaching Inquiry Community at JSU. Its purpose is to share teaching strategies and generate communication to other teachers from classroom-based research. For this reason, I may retain selected written work in order to quote from it. Before doing so, I will first request permission from any students whose work I anticipate using. Assume that all anonymously collected evaluations might also be quoted.

My quizzes tend to vary a great deal in format. You should always be prepared for a rigorous quiz that tests the basic content of the works--keeping characters straight, knowing the plot; understanding the strategies, form and possible interpretations of a poem--on the first day a work is listed on the syllabus. Depending on your schedule, some of you may be invited to do viewing of a film not covered in class or background reading, with a report to the class averaged as an additional quiz. Occasionally, there may be unannounced quizzes, which may take the form of open-book exercises, short essays, discussions, or reports on group work. I drop the lowest quiz, then average the remaining grades for 25 % of your grade for the course.

Information that comes from a CRITICAL source must always be properly introduced and identified. This includes SparkNotes, Cliff Notes, electronic resources, and all other guides to the aurthors and their. It is academic dishonesty not to give complete credit to your source, whether or not the idea is directly quoted. This course is not designed to require a great deal of critical scholarship, but I expect that those who do want to make use of, refute, or expand on interpretations of the works by previous scholars will check with me to make sure that they are using proper methodology. NOTE WELL: The instructor respects student individuality and innovative interpretive strategies. Group work and class discussions aim for the most populist/democratic discussion: all students encouraged to contribute; those monopolizing discussion time will be asked privately to moderate their vocal responses. You are expected to maintain academic standards, to turn in only original work, and to properly credit all sources not your own. This class is designed to properly train and assist you in doing so. You are expected to comply with the JSU Student Handbook with reference to all issues including code of conduct and academic dishonesty.  While Web resources on material covered in the course are in abundance, you must be aware of disinformation sites, weigh the quality of the material, and accord proper credit, even for plot and character summary sites.  The professor may recommend supplemental reading on the web, to which links or printout will be supplied; and she will assist in proper documentation of web sites that are relevant for class study.  (A review of MLA citation syle is built into the course.  When in doubt, ASK.)  She will not tolerate abuses of copied or altered information presented as the student's own work.  Whenever a grade dispute, an attendance record dispute, or other issues of decorum arise, your FIRST responsibility is to arrange conference with the instructor.

I will distribute detailed guidelines for the report at a later date.   ALL PAPER AND PROJECT TOPICS and all make-up assignments MUST BE PRE-APPROVED.

To e-mail Dr. Gates:

[Some of these are less relevant to American Literature studies, but this list is a good review of terms you mastered in EH 102.]